5.29.2008

a fellow american in stockholm!


random story:

last night i was out with my friend, jordana, having wonderful, warm cups of hot chocolate in Gamla Stan (Stockholm's Old Town - best part of the city), and after we left the area we started walking towards the middle of the city. as we're walking, jordana gets a text from a friend of ours asking sarcastically, 'so does Condoleezza Rice really need to shut down Sankt Eriksplan? Cause i can't catch my bus now.' apparently, Condi's in town, and her arrival required that all of a plaza be shut down, thus keeping our friend from getting his bus out.

so we're laughing about it, and continue walking until i notice...there's a helicopter hovering over us. weird, haven't seen a helicopter since i've been here. we walk some more and start noticing police everywhere. again, haven't hardly seen police officers since i've been here (which is a shame cause i now have no concept of a speed limit...). we walk up to one officer and ask him what's going on, and he responds, 'i'm sorry, but i can't say.'

well, whatever. we cross the street and go up a block towards the train station. helicopter #1 is still hovering, except now, TWO helicopters have joined and they're all just hovering over us. we go to cross the street, and a police officer tells us we can't go that way. okay....so we go the other direction. nope, can't go that way, either. so we turn around to walk in the opposite direction, and we're halted there, also.

at this point, we're just standing about 100 feet from the entrance to the Sheraton hotel, and we're waiting with a group of about 15 bewildered, confused pedestrians. so we're all standing there, waiting...not sure WHY we're waiting, and the helicopters are hovering, and the police are standing guard - definitely an odd experience.

and then all of a sudden, from around the corner come four police officers on motorcycle, and behind them is two black cars (and a bus that looked like it was coming from a local nursing home outing...but that's not really relevant) and they all pull up in front of the hotel. and DUH, it all made sense then...it was Condi and her Secret Service entourage!

sure enough, we're standing there watching and a petite woman with short dark hair and a red wheeling briefcase gets out of the car and goes into the hotel. and that was it. helicopters flew off, police retreated their posts....and i got on my train and went home humming 'Proud to Be An American' :)

5.25.2008

cause they're rock stars

for your viewing pleasure...the two little boogers that i spend many a days and nights with made a video with me. sometimes i can't get over how funny these two are.

please note -

- i cannot sing, and never have professed to

- klara LOVES herself. and i'm not quite sure where her clothes were, at this point.

- sixten's yelling 'yeah!' 'yeah!' when me and her are singing her song...i feel like he could hear the words in his little swedish head but couldn't get them out in english and could only show his excitement by yelling, 'yeah!'

video

5.24.2008

i love this girl



klara and sixten (my 5 and 4 year olds) have been planning for the last week to 'have a sleepover' with me tonight cause their parents are having a big party and obviously would prefer it be child-free. they have been SO excited about spending the night with me - we're having chips and popcorn, their favorites - that everyday when i pick klara up from daycare she asks me, 'seann-i, are you 'cited for lördag?' (translate: 'seanna, are you excited for saturday?' we're working on her english, haha)

so today i have to run an errand for annelie to pick some stuff up for the party. i take klara with me to the store, and as i'm backing out of the driveway she asks to hear their new favorite song - 'summer of 69' by bryan adams. we turn it on, and the line, 'those were the best days of my life...' comes on and from the back seat i hear her sigh and say in her broken, halting English, 'Seann-i....this is MY best day of MY life.'

i about ate her up then....nothing makes your heart swell like a sweet 5 year old :)

5.20.2008

come quickly

in one month from today i'll be on my way here -

Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

to stay here -



That's an outdoor shot of the villa my family has rented with two other families. it has six bedrooms, a giant pool, a little pond in the middle of the house (not sure how safe that will be for 8 kids - yes, that's how many children will be there...), staff of 10 ranging from housekeepers, personal concierge and chef, and countless other amenities. and while we're not directly on the beach, we're about 200 meters away from one. not far.

yeah, i'm excited. and did i mention that we fly business class?? (let me just say, i only mention these things because God knows i will never live this way on my own.)

needless to say, my butt's been in the gym for the past couple weeks and i've already started my 'bali playlist' on my iPod...my beach vacation playlists always include Bob Marley and Peter Gabriel's 'In Your Eyes'. don't ask me why, but when i hear that song, i don't picture whats-his-face standing with the boom box over his head. i think of the ocean, and being on the beach. every.single.time.

5.19.2008

short.

i'm on my way to my spin class - LOVE these, everyone should try them - but i had to share this recipe for a mango salad that i love to make, and the best part of it? it's healthy.

mango salad

- 2 mangoes
- 2 avocados
- ½ or 1 red onion (depends how much you like these, i only use ½)
- 1 carton of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 'plant' of cilantro (or stalk, or however it comes in the US. i forget.)
- ½ jar of basic salsa

chop up the mangoes, avocados, onion, cilantro and tomatoes. mix in a bowl. add ½ the jar of the salsa (more or less, also depends on how you like it).

and that's it! it's so simple, so fresh, and a perfect side to fish or grilled chicken. and i promise you - it sounds gross, but it is good.

i made goat cheese and spinach lasagna this weekend, too. can you believe it?? i've been a cookin' fool. my stepmama would be proud. oh - and i also ate TWO candybars yesterday. it was my cheat day and i don't care.

oh - there's a rainbow outside right now, and it is the most BRILLIANT one i've ever seen in my life! absolutely neon colors....amazing.

anyway. off to spin.

5.16.2008

bucky covington has it figured out

'if money grew on trees, the branches on mine wouldn't have no leaves'

-from 'it's good to be us', bucky covington

SUPER cute song, by the way. but anyway - this is very true, because tonight i blew my budgeted 200kr/week (which just came out of my check TODAY) on white shorts at H&M and a cup of tea. so, expect lots of blogs cause my butt will be doing a lot of hangin' around this next week :)

anyway, remember me talking about the Carrie Underwood-inspired outfit i was going for? i think i've got it. here's the picture i was referring to -


do you ever just see something and think, 'i HAVE to have that'? i don't know what it was about this outfit, maybe the simplicity of it, but i looooved it. so i'm at H&M last week (yes, i buy nearly all my clothes over here at that store. it's cheap and usually has great basic pieces) and i find this black tank top that of COURSE is not on their website, but it looks very similar to carrie's tank top in this video. it's black, and drapes kind of like hers - a little less scandalously, however :) and the back has a really cute hang to it with a keyhole-type gathering. hard to explain, but it's the same idea as hers.

and for the bottoms, instead of wearing the long shorts (love 'em, but i have them in black already and not sure i'd wear them too often) i bought these white shorts, also from H&M. they're simple, rolled-cuff (that is HUGE here this summer, you can't find shorts without them...a little too 8th grade for me, but whatever), and have 3 cute buttons down the pockets.

and of course, the best accessory for this outfit? A TAN.

speaking of carrie underwood, do ya'll think she's too skinny? i look at her and think, 'gosh, she looks great'....she's slim, but she's definitely got muscle tone. but i've heard some people say that she looks too skinny. i don't know. that sentence just made me think of Skinny Cows. love those, too. they're not in Europe.

OH - and if you have access to a Lush store, you seriously need to go and buy some of their products. i have been using my Honey I Washed the Kids soap -

and i LOVE it. the lather is thick and smells soooo good, and your skin really does smell good and feel really soft afterwards. this particular one smells like vanilla and honey and CLEAN.


still in bed...

and it's 10.15am. oh my goodness, am i in for a rude awakening come a few months when i actually have to get a real job. it is the nice thing about fridays, though - i typically don't have to work, so i can sleep in and totally do my own thing on these days. i know you're probably thinking, 'that girl doesn't do anything!' but seriously, when was the last time you were responsible for picking up after and maintaining the lives of 5 people? cause that's really what i do on a Mon - Thur basis. i love them, but it gets tiresome.

so. i've ate my morning grapefruit and i'm absolutely ITCHING to get into my new car here - a Lexus - and drive it all over town. but the only place i really need to go to is the grocery store.

3 weeks until my trip to Spain! i'm so excited to have my beach vacation, i've now purchased 2 ½ swimsuits and 2 tank tops for the occasion...and i say ½ swimsuit cause i found some bikini bottoms that i absolutely loved - black with a thick white belt - that will match my black-and-white striped bikini top. my next (and probably last, cause i'm super budgeted) purchase will be a pair of white shorts. those look amazing with tan legs...and i got a boyfriend coming to meet me - dress to impress, right??

i have to do a little braggin' on my oldest, Kasper - how cool is he?? their momma knows how to dress them :) he's actually wearing the button down with a tie cause it was 'British Week' at school, so all the kids wore oxfords and ties. cute, right? i love the bright pink with his blonde hair!

5.10.2008

T-I-R-E-D

this girl is not used to dragging herself out of bed before, oh, 9.30am...and i've been up before 7am for the last 3 days in a row. needless to say, it's killing me.

i've got the kids this weekend while the parents are out of town, and it's a ton of fun, i swear. this morning we woke up, had my morning coffee outside (have i mentioned it's gorgeous here? their landscaping is in.cred.ible), and then me and Sixten sat on the dock fishing while Klara's little stubborn butt stayed inside and played.

so, i've always been the kind of person that's thought, 'when i become a mom, i will have it NAILED DOWN...it'll be a piece of cake!' and just never thought it would be difficult, and of course always thought i would be on top of everything - every detail and then some. i knew that 'WHEN I HAVE KIDS...' i would do things certain ways, and by God, that's how it would be. kids that misbehave, talk back, disobey, never have brushed hair? never. never, ever, ever.

but now i'm not so sure. i took klara and sixten last night to go pick up some friends at the train station and i didn't make sixten wear shoes. i went out this morning after getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to take sixten to gymnastics, and i looked HIT. didn't brush my hair, no makeup...i was lucky i threw some earrings on before i walked out the door. and today we went to The Butterfly House in Stockholm (a greenhouse where they keep butterflies, in case you were wondering) and then met up with my friends after that for the rest of the afternoon, and no kidding, i let the kids eat PANCAKES and COOKIES for dinner. now, please keep in mind that pancakes and meatballs are the two most commonly offered meals on children's menus here. but still.

okay - finishing this up the next day (i was so tired last night i couldn't even finish writing this post) and the kids are upstairs playing. the weather is gorgeous, they've had their breakfast, and i've gotta get them outside!

pictures from the weekend coming up - i've got some great ones. oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! my hat is off to you all after this weekend ;)

5.08.2008

the weekend recap

i'm referring to LAST weekend...not the weekend coming up. which just goes to show how on top of things i am.

but i'd first like to say that, at the moment, i'm listening to George Strait (okay, i know he's like, 'mom country'...but i LOVE him, he always puts me in a good mood), drinking a cup of coffee and just finished my egg white omelette with mushrooms, spinach and a pinch of cheese. this weekend will be somewhat hectic as i have all 3 kids until sunday after midnight (parents are on a weekend holiday with friends, how fun is THAT? they actually go on them about once every two months...). that's all to say that i'm enjoying this serene, peaceful moment right now cause it's surely not going to last once the kids come home this afternoon.

anyway - Legoland. so, anytime i go to a theme park, i get so EXCITED cause i love roller coasters, i love the feel of them...the food, the themed areas, all the people. but...Legoland was different. we arrived at the tiny airport in Billund, Denmark and drove (literally) 5 minutes to Hotel Legoland. Nikki and i checked into our Princess Room with Klara, who was practically spastic with excitement, and then spent the evening watching the kids while the parents all went to dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was the ONLY one in the area. no kidding.

saturday and sunday were spent at the park with the kids, and it was definitely fun for them, and them only. the park is designed for small children, so every roller coaster there could easily be ridden by 4 year olds and 70 year olds alike. but it's fun to just see the kids have fun - even if it means going on the Dragen roller coaster 8 times, and i'm not exaggerating - and like i've said before, my whole family really is fun to be around.

it's funny - my favorite part of these trips is the way we have coffee breaks every two hours! we would go on some rides with the kids, then us and the other family would meet back up, have a latte, the kids would get ice cream, and then a couple hours later, do it all over again. i don't know about you guys, but i DEFINITELY did not grow up actually eating the food at amusement parks. i was lucky to get a drink cause everything was so dang expensive!

oh, and biggest complaint about Europe? i'm so FREAKING sick of sausage, liverwurst and cheese being offered for breakfast everywhere. normally that's a meal i go to bed excited for the next day, but here, i've just not felt that same excitement.

here's my pictures from the weekend -













as you can see, lots of Lego action and fun ;) alright, i'm heading into town to pick up the wallet i lost at a bar a few weeks ago (classy) and buy my suuuper cute swimsuit!! i'll post some pictures soon, cause i also want to tell you all about my 'carrie underwood-inspired-outfit' i recently bought!! the rate i'm going, someone had better have put some money in that wallet of mine...

5.01.2008

you know you travel too much when -

you're going to a foreign country tomorrow and you keep forgetting....

yep, we're off to Legoland in Denmark tomorrow. while i'm not super thrilled, i know it should at least be a good time with the family. that's the bonus in having young, fun parents as your bosses. they know how to have a good time, even with children running around ;)

anyway, i'm having a grouchy day as i went swimsuit shopping (ugh, ugh, ugh) and then got back to my car to find a parking ticket on it. sweet. not a damn car in the ENTIRE lot...it was a sea of open parking spots. but they evidently felt the need to ticket me for not paying the outrageous parking fee. yes, i have a problem with paying for parking spots, and yes, i am well aware of it. you'd think i had learned my lesson by now. they charge for everything in Sweden - your grocery bags, to use the toilet, to park anywhere....so freaking annoying.

actually found a super cute swimsuit at a store called Twilfit - wish i could put a picture of it here, but their website is under construction. anyway, it's just your basic black-and-white striped halter top with black boy shorts...super cute and totally my style. i just hate trying swimsuits on this time of year, though. pasty thighs and post-lunch stomach definitely don't do much to sell the product.

yesterday was Valborg in Sweden. it's a big holiday that celebrates the beginning of Spring, and they do so by having big, giant bonfires in each town in the country. i went to a friend's house for dinner last night and then we made our way over to the bonfire, which, unfortunately was burning embers by the time we got there. didn't matter to me cause i had a REALLY good våfflor med syltt och grädde (how you like that Swedish there? a waffle with jam and cream).

alright...i suppose i should go pack the suitcase that never seems to leave my room. have a great weekend!